Sunday, February 22, 2015
Two Generations - One Mysterious Girl - Jordan's Shadow by Robin Johns Grant
Today I am featuring Robin Johns Grant as she talks about her new book "Jordan's Shadow." When I offer to feature authors on the John 3:16 blog, I never know what I will receive. When I read Robin's feature, I was hooked. What a compelling premise, especially as a mother. I can't wait to read "Jordan's Shadow." Here is Robin in her own words.
My second book, Jordan’s Shadow, just came out a few days ago. Whenever people find out I’ve published a book, they generally ask one of two questions: How long did it take you to write it? And…where do you get your ideas?
So I’ll just assume that if we were face to face right now, you might want to ask me those questions about Jordan’s Shadow—even though the answer to at least one of those questions is a little embarrassing.
Where do I get my ideas? Usually I invent characters first, get to know them gradually, put them in various situations until a plot emerges. This involves the highly technical skills of make-believe and daydreaming, skills only writers or young children can truly master.
Jordan’s Shadow was a little different. A thought struck me one day (while I was daydreaming), that mothers don’t really know what their babies will be like or look like when they grow up. Those babies gradually change over time as they settle into the adults they become.
Well, I like a little spine-tingling creepiness in a story, so I started to think…what if a mother saw her child growing and changing and gradually turning into someone she used to know? And what if it was someone she didn’t like? Someone she had shared a terrible experience with in the past?
Now for the embarrassing part: how long did it take me to write this? Not years…decades! And I don’t mean just to get it right. It took me decades to get a first draft.
I thought this premise was so intriguing I couldn’t let it go, but I also had nothing but a premise. No characters, no plot, no spiritual take-away. Who were the mother and daughter going through this? What was the terrible experience in the mother’s past? And other than shock value, why did this story matter?
Answering those questions took me many years. And even when I had a skeleton plot and characters, the story was taking place in two different time periods, which was a challenge to my writing skills.
As for the spiritual component, that grew naturally as the other parts came together. As I got to know the family I was subjecting to this madness, I “discovered” that the family matriarch was a no-nonsense pragmatist who didn’t believe in anything beyond the physical world, and wouldn’t let her daughters be exposed to any such foolishness, including the church. Starving her family for God and the spiritual led to tragic consequences.
Now that it’s finally done, I’m glad I stuck with Jordan’s Shadow. It has some important take-aways not just about the God-shaped vacuum in all our lives, but about mother-daughter relationships, about the importance of family, and that it’s never too late to redeem the past.
Plus it’s as much fun as a spooky ghost story around a campfire!
If I’ve made you curious by now, stop by tomorrow to read an excerpt!
Robin Johns Grant published her first novel, Summer’s Winter, in 2014, and her second suspense novel, Jordan’s Shadow, has just been released. Summer's Winter won a bronze medal in the Romance - Suspense category of the International Readers' Favorite Book Awards, and Robin was named 2014 Author of the Year by the Georgia Association of College Stores.
Family and friends are happy that Robin’s imagination is finally paying off. She’s always had way too much of it. She started making up stories before she could write them down (dictating them to her mother) and always had her head in the clouds. She was obsessed with books and movies like Harry Potter and Star Wars and did a lot of crazy fan stuff, which helped her dream up Jeanine and Jamie’s story for Summer's Winter. It’s a romantic suspense novel, but as John Granger (author of The Deathly Hallows Lectures) said, it’s also “a romance-thriller about fandoms…and explores the important intersection of literature, spirituality, and imagination.”
As a Christian, Robin can’t help but explore spirituality in her writing, but wants to do so in a way that reflects the awe and wonder of God and eternity.
With a degree in English, several non-fulfilling jobs under her belt, and a mid-life crisis coming on, Robin returned to school and earned a master's degree in library and information science. She now has her best day job ever as a college librarian, which keeps her young by allowing her to hang out with students.
With her wonderful husband Dave and formerly feral felines Mini Pearl and Luna, Robin lives in Georgia. She is also surprised to find herself part owner of a pit bull named Pete, who showed up as a starving stray puppy at her mother's house.
Keep up with Robin at these sites:
Amazon (read about and purchase her books): http://amazon.com/author/robinjohnsgrant
Website and blog: http://robinjohnsgrant.com